Jim is an avalanche instructor for AAI, He also own a small heli ski operation in Alaska, Tordrillo North (Don Sharaf, Dan Corn and Jamie Weeks have guided for me). Jim consults with (as Glissemedia LLC) for new and exclusive heli-ski operations in the US including Valdez Heli-Ski Guides. Jim is a Risk Management Consultant and has given Risk Management Talks for the Marine Corps MAWTS-1 school, the Navy’s Top Gun school, and the F-35 development team. Jim also created the Semper Ride program for the US Marine Corps to teach marines better riding skills and lower accident rates. Been skiing the backcountry since 1976. Went to college with Doug Coombs, met him in a couloir.

Where are you Based?

Salt Lake City, UT

What avalanche courses do you teach?

Recreational Avalanche Level 1 and Recreational Avalanche Level 2

What is your favorite snow story?

The day we hiked to the top of Cherry Couloir in Valdez for the first descent. After being dropped off in the col and hiking to the summit we asked the pilot, Chet Simmons (who was filming overhead) if he could land on the summit. He did easily, and myself and a few “Juneau Boys” all did a slow 360 realizing that our lives and the ski world was about to change forever. That was 1991. It may not seem like a big deal now, but people weren’t doing big steep lines out of helicopters at that point in time.

What was the path that led you to avalanche education?  

I developed the International Pro Riders Workshop mountain skills program for TGR about ten years ago which includes Mtn First Aid, Rescue and Avalanche education. Since then AAI instructors have become an integral part of this challenging annual event.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

I am paying it backwards since as a pro athlete so many people did things to enable me to do some pretty cool stuff.

What do you do with your offseason?

Dirt bike enduro, hardest and best sport in the world.


Courses With AAI

Our instructors are the core of your experience with the American Avalanche Institute. They bring the science and knowledge of avalanche safety to life in real-world settings. If you’re interested in learning more from Sarah, or one of our other amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.

Our instructors are the core of your experience with the American Avalanche Institute.  They bring the science and knowledge of avalanche safety to life in real-world settings.  If you’re interested in learning more fromone of our amazing instructors check out our full course offerings today.